In an emotional exclusive interview with Who, the animation artist Cruz Contreras shed some tears when thanking that he fulfilled his dream, thanks to the support of his mother.
The heat of the afternoon in Zapopan gives a break with the running of the air. Sitting in front of the statue of maguey, on the esplanade between the Juan José Arreola Public Library of the State of Jalisco and the Santander Performing Arts Ensemble, is a Mexican who has held an Oscar and a Golden Globe in his hands.
With his distinctive horn-rimmed glasses, Cruz Contreras greets us cordially and is ready to share his life story; such an exciting journey in which he and his mother are the protagonists, both with the same goal: for him to fulfill his dreams.
Cruz can’t help it and his voice cracks as he remembers all the hard work his mother put in so he could study, he tries to contain it, but at the end of the talk he tells us, unapologetically: “You made me cry !”. The talk with the talented man is honest and emotional.
Contreras shares with that lump of gratitude in his throat, that he was fortunate to have a family that “never closed the doors to me”, even though his mother, who raised him alone, sounded a little strange that her son wanted to study animation to be able to live from it.
Cruz recalls, with a tone of utmost pride in her voice, that “my mom worked three jobs so I could go to school. When I was studying I thought, ‘I can’t let her down; my mom couldn’t be working so hard so I could go to school.” I said I didn’t want to anymore.”
With time, Contreras feels, reveals to us with her watery eyes, “great satisfaction to see my mother sitting in the cinema, watching one of my films and that she stops to applaud when she sees my name come out, it fills me… I’m even going to cry. It fills me a lot to see her happy with what I do. ”
Cruz explains that he would love it if every time he tells how it all came about, it was a hunky-dory story, but it’s not like that: “Getting into these projects is difficult and even more so coming from a place like Mexico, where the animation industry is not as exploited as we would like”.
Contreras clarifies that he makes a comparison with what he has seen in Canada, where he currently resides, “people study animation and go to work at the big studios in two months, that does not happen here, you have to fight, fight, even with the opportunity to work there, the four years you learned, you have to relearn them in 10 minutes in English”.
The Mexican has no qualms about accepting that everything “is very complicated, yes I had to face many things, since I had to present my work to the directors, in English, I came out sweating, eventually, the fear goes away. It’s difficult, but if possible”.
All that work paid off when he established himself as a top-level animator and organically came to one of his most special projects, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which was crowned “Best Animated Film” at night. of the Oscars 2019.
I feel that what I’m earning, my mom does too… Many people only believe what they see on Instagram or in newspapers, but they don’t know all the hard work behind it; they think we are very distant from them, but when I go to the universities I tell them: ‘where they are sitting, I was there’ Cruz Contreras, entertainer
The native of Iguala, Guerrero, studied in Cuernavaca, Morelos, and every time he returns or now that he was able to give a presentation at the highest cultural center in Guadalajara, the Teatro Degollado, his emotion is uncontrollable: “How crazy it is that the papers They were reversed and now I’m the one standing in front of them.”
His path has been a constant of “when in life would I imagine…” and with that flag, he has already raised an Oscar and a Golden Globe in his hands. “It never crossed my mind. Even though the movies don’t win awards, when I see my work there, I still cry, my first movie, I sat and cried until it was over,” she revealed.
It moved him and it seemed crazy to him that people around the world were seeing what he did, “there are films that have cost me so much work and that have stressed me so much, that it starts and I let go because I can’t believe it, it’s a feeling of saying: ‘yes I could, I did it and, despite everything, it turned out s***'”.
In his future
Cruz is now followed by the premiere on Netflix of Monstruo del mar, on July 8, and that of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, which will hit the screens in 2023. Both left him with great teachings, although from the first, which is about pirates and full of action, accepted that it is the streaming platform’s bet for the Oscar.
“There is always the nervousness of wanting to do the best work, in all the movies it is the same for me, I say they are my babies, but Spider-Verse has a special place in my heart because listening to Miles ( Morales ), knowing that it is Latino and that he speaks Spanish with his mother, I loved that.
“Seeing that his mother is completely Latina and listening to conversations in which she only spoke to him in Spanish, I thought: ‘How nice, what a father’; I felt that we were representing a lot of Latino children who still don’t see themselves as superheroes in the movies”, Contreras abounded.
And about his next job with Sony Pictures, he gave us a super-exclusive: “Right now in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse we will be able to see Miguel, who also speaks Spanish, also brings his Latin background, I can’t reveal much… but that’s where we Latinos are”.